Sam Myles

Kepak Farm, Clonee, Co Meath

Sam Myles.

The past couple of weeks have been busy in Meath, and Sam has managed to continue working between the showers since the weather broke once again last week.

A couple of weeks ago 100ac of spring barley were planted. Sam says the seedbed was in good condition after being ploughed, power harrowed, and then drilled. Then 125kg/ha of urea was put down the spout with the seed. The remaining fertiliser is being spread this week as the crop emerges and the tramlines become visible.

Sam then moved onto planting forage maize, with 260ac of the crop sowed last week. The ground received cattle slurry before ploughing. Headlands were grubbed before sowing to ensure a good seedbed. The maize was drilled under plastic alongside a pre-emergence herbicide.

The winter wheat looks quite good on the farm and is keeping relatively clean despite the wet weather. This week will see the final application of nitrogen applied, bringing the total to 212kg N/ha.

The T1 fungicide spray is also being applied this week as the third last leaf is fully emerged, with the second last leaf beginning to emerge. This consists of three fungicides, Helix at 1.15l/ha, Silvron at 1.15l/ha and Kingman at 1.15l/ha.

Trace elements are also included in this tank mix, along with two plant growth regulators, CeCeCe 750 at 1.5l/ha and Moddus 250 EC at 0.3l/ha.

The winter oilseed rape looks promising. It is beginning to lose its petals, so a fungicide to control sclerotinia will be applied shortly before closing the gates on the crop until desiccation.

Away from the tillage side of the farm, Sam was hoping to cut 100ac of silage this week. He aims to have four cuts of silage on the farm each year to ensure that a high-quality silage can be produced by cutting more regularly.

Maize was planted last week on the Kepak farm in Meath.

Pádraig Connery

Villiarstown, Co Waterford

Padraig Connery, Villierstown, Co Waterford. \ Donal O'Leary

Pádraig is delighted that the pressure has now eased after a very intense fortnight of 16-hour days.

The Lynx spring beans were first to be planted on 20 April at 205kg/ha. Pig slurry was applied before ploughing and 110kg/ha of 0-7-30 was spread into the seedbed. A pre-emergence herbicide was applied on 25 April.

Pádraig moved onto WPB Isabel spring oats on 21 April, sowed at 170kg/ha; 370kg/ha of 13-5-25 was applied in the seedbed and the crop has now emerged.

The spring barley was last to be planted. Pádraig has three different varieties, RGT Planet, Laureate and Geraldine, for three different malting contracts. All fertiliser was applied in the seedbed. All ground was ploughed, and either a roller with tines or a disc harrow was used before planting.

Pádraig says the disc did a better job, but is slower to get through the work. He remarks that fields that had cover crops ploughed up drier and very fluffy. Some of them did not require cultivation after ploughing, so he is intrigued to compare these fields to the rest of the spring barley throughout the year.

Pádraig says getting straight into some fields after ploughing helped to speed up his progress. He notes the huge difference between winter and spring planting, with only two passes of each field in autumn turning into five in spring. He is thankful to have good help on the farm, and a local dairy farmer also helped out between milkings.

The winter barley received Terpal, Mirror (folpet) and Tokyo (prothioconazole) last week, and the awns are now emerging. There is a sizeable amount of BYDV in some fields, but fortunately these fields are planted with KWS Joyau, which should be less affected by the virus due to its tolerance.

A T1 spray, Revystar XL (1.5l/ha) and Arizona (1.5l/ha), was applied to the winter wheat last week, along with growth regulators of CeCeCe 750 (1l/ha) and Moxa EC (0.2l/ha).

While the crop is not over-thick, Pádraig says it is in good condition, considering the tough winter.

Tom Murray

O’Shea Farms, Piltown, Co Kilkenny

Tom Murray.

Lots of work has been completed in Kilkenny in the past month, with only 5% of the spring barley and all the maize left to plant.

The majority of the spring barley and the spring oats were planted two weeks ago. Some of the fields got all their nitrogen in the seedbed, some fields got compound fertiliser and some fields got no fertiliser at all. They will all be brought up to 140kg N/ha. The spring barley is for feed, and the farm has Geraldine and a Polish variety in the ground. They were planted at 188kg/ha after ploughing and tilling. Meanwhile, 75% of the ground was rolled, but showers prevented the rest from being completed.

The potatoes were also planted two weeks ago. The farm has Rooster, Maris Piper, and Jazzy potatoes. The Jazzy potatoes are salad potatoes, and help to spread the workload, as they are the last to be planted and the first to be harvested. A pre-emergence herbicide of Emerger, Defy, and Sirtaki CS was applied this week. Where some weeds have already emerged, Tom included Spotlight Plus in the mix to kill them.

The carrots were planted under plastic in the past two weeks. The planter, sprayer and plastic machine were all in the field the one day, with a pre-emergence herbicide of Stomp Aqua, Emerger and Gamit 36 CS applied before the plastic was put down.

Dung is being spread this week on the maize ground and this will then be ploughed and sowed.

The winter crops on the farm look good. The awns are just beginning to emerge on the winter barley so it will receive its final fungicide in the coming days. Tom will probably use Siltra and folpet. He says the nitrogen was a bit late being applied, but the crop is now recovering well from this.

The winter oats had a small bit of crown rust, but the Elatus Era sprayed a couple of weeks ago has cleaned this up.

The potatoes are ready to break ground in Kilkenny.